In recent years, estate and letting agents have been faced with a series of tough challenges to absorb and react to.
There have been stamp duty changes, firmer lending criteria and landlord tax changes, all of which have combined to lead to fluctuations in the property market.
As you’ll be well aware, the latest kick to the industry comes in the form of the tenant fee ban being introduced today (June 1 2019).
In order to combat the lost revenue from no longer being able to charge fees, some agents will look to charge landlords more and some will do nothing and struggle with the consequences.
The smartest agents will be looking for ways they can build additional revenue streams from the data they already have.
One way in which agents can build a profitable revenue stream to replace tenant fee revenue is by earning referral fees by recommending conveyancers.
As mentioned above, by utilising data you already have, you can start to generate real commission and increase revenue at a time when the market remains slow because of a combination of factors.
Issues with the existing conveyancing referral system
Despite conveyancing recommendations providing an easy way to increase revenue, not all agents see the value in making referrals.
Some see it as too much effort when having to wait for commission to be paid on completion, while the information required by some providers before a quote can be obtained can seem endless.
What's more, it's not always easy for agents to manage the huge amounts of data they are obtaining through viewing requests and monetising it efficiently.
Does upfront commission with no clawback exist?
As we can see, one of the key issues agents have with the existing conveyancing referral system is that they may have to wait a lengthy period to receive their funds and some of it could be clawed back at a later date.
This side of the industry is evolving to provide agents with better solutions enabled by technology and we’re therefore able to offer our agents up to £100 in commission up front with no clawback after the 14-day cooling off period.
For example, if the average agency registers 30 conveyancing quotes with us per month, they could earn up to almost £30,000 in additional revenue each year. It’s an easy way to earn substantial extra income from the data you are already harvesting.
Your branding is key to building trust
When earning referral fees by making conveyancer recommendations, it’s beneficial if the process is carried out alongside your branding to help keep continuity for the client.
By this point in the moving process, the consumer will have built trust with your brand and therefore this can make the referral process more seamless, professional and efficient.
This extension of your brand can help you to generate quotes for clients within 30 seconds, while they can start using your website to obtain quotes and earn you additional revenue.
This is how you can begin to use your data correctly and to your financial advantage.
Working with conveyancers who are fully vetted
When estate agents work with a network of conveyancers, it’s important that you have access to reputable firms who will uphold the consumer’s trust in your brand.
For example, we make sure our panel only includes solicitors and licensed conveyancers that can deal with your clients according to our exacting panel agreement. This means regular updates, online portals and conveyancing dealing with the case.
For too long the term ‘conveyancing network’ has meant cheaper conveyancers in a factory format, where clients feel no more than a number, which only reflect badly on you.
Therefore, you need to make sure that the conveyancers you’re dealing with are fully vetted and work to the highest standards. Your network may be paying more to work with higher quality firms, but this investment in quality will generate better results in the long-term.
Working with a higher quality network of conveyancers means your clients’ completion times are likely to be lower than the national average.
Find the best solutions for your business
As the Tenant Fees Act comes into force, you can keep your landlord management fees the same by exploring alternative solutions.
Not only will this keep your landlords happy, encouraging them to stay with you for longer, but you can replace lost revenue through other parts of your business without a lot of additional work.
Contact The Moving Hub to see how you can earn additional revenue upfront from the data you already have and start building your solution today.
Watch this video to see how The Moving Hub is helping estate agents to generate more revenue.
*Oliver Meddick is Chief Operating Officer of The Moving Hub